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GCE statement on the 2017 G20 Declaration: Shaping an Interconnected World

The Global Campaign for Education welcomes the 2017 G20 Declaration, Shaping an interconnected world, and its recognition of education as critical to delivering change, particularly for women and young people. GCE also welcomes the G20’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and its reinforcement of the need for governments to work with stakeholders in the delivery of Agenda 2030. GCE acknowledges the G20’s support for the existing formal accountability mechanisms of the Voluntary National Reviews and the High-level Political Forum.

On education, the G20 Declaration makes three firm commitments, and one affirmation of the G20 Africa Partnership declaration to support education, to which governments can be held to account:

Women’s Empowerment: We will improve women´s access to labour markets through provision of quality education and training, supporting infrastructure, public services and social protection policies and legal reforms, where appropriate.

Boosting Employment: We recognise the important role of vocational education and training, including quality apprenticeship in integrating young people into the labour market. In this regard, we acknowledge that it is particularly effective when it provides coordinated high quality school- and work-based learning and when it is built on cooperation among governments, business communities and social partners.

Harnessing Digitalisation: …we need to bridge digital divides along multiple dimensions, including income, age, geography and gender... We will promote digital literacy and digital skills in all forms of education and life-long learning.

Africa Partnership: We welcome the outcomes of the G20 Africa Partnership Conference in Berlin, which highlighted the need for joint measures to enhance sustainable infrastructure, improve investment frameworks as well as support education and capacity building.

GCE also welcomes the commitment to decent work as part of the G20 strategy to boost employment.

A further area where the G20 has made an extremely firm commitment to young people is on the elimination of child labour, and GCE celebrates this pledge: We will take immediate and effective measures to eliminate child labour by 2025, forced labour, human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery.

GCE is also pleased to see the declaration recognise the importance of addressing the situation of refugees: We commit to addressing the distinct needs of refugees and migrants, in particular close to their region of origin and, when applicable, to enable them to return home safely. At the same time, we place special emphasis on vulnerable groups, including women at risk and children, particularly those unaccompanied, and to protecting the human rights of all persons regardless of their status.

GCE encourages future G20 efforts to include commitments to fully fund the implementation of quality, inclusive education in emergency and crisis settings, for all children and young people.

GCE also welcomes and agrees with the caution with which the G20 will consider the proposed loan-making International Financing Facility (IFFEd), and its commitment to examine it in the context of existing multilateral grant agencies the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait. While GCE joins and fully supports the call for increased financing for education, we applaud the G20 for the critical analysis of any new loan-making mechanisms being proposed.

Through its global Call to Action, GCE supports harmonised and aligned financing in line with aid effectiveness guidelines to support countries to develop and implement high-quality national education sector plans and emergency response plans, including through the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Fund for education in emergencies. GCE recommends that bilateral donors spend 30% of their aid to education through existing multilateral mechanisms.

In addition, GCE calls on developing countries to expand their domestic tax base (to at least 20% of GDP) and increase the share of spending on education (to at least 20% of budgets), progressing to 6% of GDP spent on education, and on bilateral donors to increase ODA (towards 0.7% global target), and ensure they are supporting the countries and populations most in need. GCE has also identified that reforms to domestic tax systems and the development of a globally inclusive inter-governmental body to set and enforce fair global tax rules are critical to the implementation of SDG4.

We invite the G20 to consider these recommendations as detailed in our Call to Action, as well as the full breadth of SDG4 and its associated Framework for Action in future meetings, statements and recommendations. The Global Campaign for Education and its membership will work to build even stronger political will and hold governments to account for these commitments in the coming months.